Project Overview

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The VIDSHARE project researched and developed a management platform for Peer-to-Peer multimedia asset distribution across heterogeneous access networks with Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP). A key objective of the project was to build an architecture that would interoperable with different content management and IPMP solutions. The project  utilised MPEG REL as a rights expression language and worked with the evolving MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework international standard. The platform was developed to support a number of business models including rights based personal multimedia sharing, distributed multimedia management for corporations, and the retailing of video content including the superdistribution of content.

Multimedia technology provides the different players in the multimedia value and delivery chain (from content creators to end-users) with access to information and services from almost anywhere at anytime through ubiquitous terminals and networks. However, no complete solutions exist that allow different communities, each with their own models, rules, procedures, interests and content formats, to interact efficiently in complex, automated e-commerce scenarios. In addition most multimedia content is not governed today by IPMP systems. Where they do exist they are rudimentary and do not interoperate. This creates a major barrier to the rollout of complex multi-media services that require this interoperability and respect for IPR such as media sharing, retailing or superdistribution of video content.

Project Achievements

The VIDSHARE project addressed key issues in the multimedia content delivery chain encompassing content delivery and consumption through a peer-to-peer platform that is interoperable with content provider systems and which enforces content provider’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) through an Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP) framework.

To do this the VIDSHARE project aimed to deliver:

* A Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network platform.
* A peer client application with support for MEG-4 and IPMP.
* An IPMP management system with the following services:
o Content Packaging, Rules and Generation services.
o Rights Services.
o Trust Management Services.
o Value Chain Management and License Services.
o Governance Services.
o Security and Protected Platform services.
* A set of E-Commerce Services for the management system to support the project’s business model evaluation.

Key objectives of the VIDSHARE platform was to facilitate a number of innovative peer-to-peer based digital business models in a secure protected way including:

* Rights based personal media sharing – for example one user sharing personal video content, such as a family occasion, with the other family members in a secure, rights based manner (i.e. named users only can play the video, no editing or forwarding – a time limit of 1 month is specified).
* Rights based distributed corporate multimedia database – for example the Dublin office creating and locally hosting content that the New York office can securely access and consume and visa versa. With rights based access, content can also be restricted by, for example; organization security clearances.
* Rights based e-tailing of video content. In this scenario users will have the capability of searching for and then downloading and playing movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow”. In this scenario the user has the right to play a trailer for the movie and then has the option to rent or buy the movie.
* The super distribution of video content. In this scenario the content the user has downloaded has rights that enable the content to be forwarded to another user. The second user should be able to play the trailer and then have the option to rent or buy the movie. If the second user makes a purchasing decision the platform should have the flexibility to enable the original user to receive a percentage of the purchase price as a reward, in addition to settling with the players in the distribution chain.

To enable these business models the VIDSHARE project  researched  and developed the following technologies:

A distributed Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architecture. This is a pure peer-to-peer network similar to the architecture of Gnutella for person-to-person and organisation-person sharing of secure rights based multimedia. This network will be augmented with the VIDSHARE management system to support the retailing and superdistribution of value based content to enable, content identification and IPR verification, the establishment of Trust relationships, value chain support, payments, accounting and settlement.

A client P2P application  supported:

* User profile and preferences, content searching and downloading.
* Functionality to enable a user to upload their personal video and encode/decode it with rights using the MPEG-21 REL standard.
* Functionality to create a local, standards based, media database of sharable content for Peer-to-Peer sharing.

A management platform that oversees the Peer-to-Peer network which will support:

* A framework to manage the P2P network including a register of peers.
* A central index database for organisations and/or media companies where IPR validated content can be listed. Note: for legal reasons, private individual’s content databases will be held locally and not in the central index database.
* Value Chain Management and License services. This includes content License generation and distribution, content identification (and verification of IPR), content tracking and business model services such as superdistribution.
* Trust Management Services. Registration of value chain participants, user certification and credential management services, trusted time services.
* Security and Protection Services. Secure channels, key management, trusted software and execution environment.
* An e-commerce framework: Payments services, accounting services and settlement services.
* Transaction, audit and log services. These services can be monitored by content providers and rights holders for auditing purposes.

The management platform was retained as WIT IPR but the breakthroughs made on this platform will be made available to MPEG as a reference implementation of the MPEG IPMP standard.

The project ran from October 2005 until 2007


Enterprise Ireland.


Paul Savage: